Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013: Un año feliz (A happy year)

What wasn’t to like in 2013? I can’t see me giving up my life as an international bag lady anytime soon – fingers crossed/touch wood/Dog willing/inshallah…

I saw out the year in Seville, Spain. After spending a fun week enjoying the company of Oz/HK friends Debra and Tony (visits to a flamenco dance performance, tour of Seville’s famous bullfight ring, a number of meals, and two runs with Tony), I hunkered down for three days of long work hours to finish a big arts project. Today, 1 January 2014, I came up to Madrid by train for an overnighter before the next stage of my travels: a month in Marrakech. The museums are closed for the public holiday, but it’s wet, grey and dismal so I don’t mind just hanging out in my hotel for the rest of the day. I’ll be back for a week at the start of February.

A quick recap on the year…

I saw in 2013 in Melbourne, where I was staying in the apartment of friends Barb and Bill while they were in the US. I had seen my mum and some family and close friends in Albury at Christmas, and was able to join in the Nightie Before Christmas run with Di, Frannie, Julie, Jules and other friends. Chris rode his motorbike down on Boxing Day from Sydney. From Melbourne I went to the Gold Coast and Brisbane, where I saw my dad and nieces Jaye, Kellie and Cassie.

To Ubud, Bali, for a couple of months, with a week’s side trip to Sarawak in early March to see my Kuching extended family.

From Kuala Lumpur (on a short visit with Patrick) to Europe, where I based myself in Florence until nearly the end of May. In April I flew for a few days to Paris to catch up with the Wees from Kuching again, who were on an architectural highlights tour of northern Europe. I ran the Firenze half marathon as a bandit. Side trips to Rome, Venice and Lake Como. To northern Italy for a night to see Giorgio and Amy, then a three-day taste of Barcelona, which whet my appetite. A frustrating week back in Paris followed, where the highlights were two races (20K and 10K) and catching up with Monique, a friend made in Bali.

To New York for June and July, where I got back into proper training with the 5.30 a.m. crew and ran in lots of races. Caught up with friends old and new. Always great to see Dominic. Indulged myself with lots of films!

August was holiday month. Really enjoyed running a half marathon in Dublin with Marc, a friend from Chile. Long-time friend Sarah and I then drove around Ireland for a week. A frenetically busy fortnight in Wales and England, walking up Mt Snowdon and along the Jurassic Coast, and seeing more special friends.

To Budapest for September for a rest. Loved it! Ran a fun half marathon there just as the weather changed from summer to autumn. Became pals with Jules. Vowed I’d be back. To Vienna for a night and Prague for four days.

October through to mid-December I was back in New York, finishing up the racing season and getting guaranteed entry to the 2014 New York City Marathon. Ran the Philadelphia half marathon instead of the planned marathon, as I hadn’t done the training needed to go the full distance. I’ll need to remember that this year in August/September… Became good pals with Brigitte, who fed me at Thanksgiving. Was grateful for a couple of snowfalls, which made the cold weather bearable. Made note to self not to stay so late in the year next time…

Just before I came to Spain I spent five days back in Budapest, which felt familiar and welcoming.

I really want to say thanks to the people who come into my life and then decide to stick around, even when they know I can be a real pain in the butt. If I saw you this year and didn’t mention you by name above, it’s just because I wanted to keep this review brief. Be assured that you helped make this such a wonderful year for me, and I hope I’ll see you again soon. I’m always very grateful to Françoise and René, who since 2009 have generously allowed me to live in their home in New York when they are in Lausanne.

I hope you all have a fabulous 2014.

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